The Book of Ezekiel accounts the actions of a prophet during the Exile in Babylonia. His message was directed to his friends and to the Hebrew people in Palestine. Both groups remained fixed and not sorry even after the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, and the exiling of Jehoiachin, King of Judah, in 596 B.C. God then assigned to Ezekiel the task of disapproving the rebellious house of Israel and of foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile. Six years after Ezekiel had begun to preach, his words came true.
In 586 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and brought all but a few of the survivors to Babylonia. But Israel’s unfaithfulness did not weaken God’s mercy. Ezekiel was also told to announce the good news that the exile would end and that Israel would be restored to position God’s rescue to all men. The way the Book of Ezekiel tells its message of judgment and promise to filter it from other prophetic books of the Old Testament. Its first feature is the organized arrangement of the writings.
The first twenty-four chapters describe Israel’s reflection and criticism with scary control. This view of destiny is balanced in the last section by an evenly reliable picture of the bright future that God has for his people. Another feature of the Book of Ezekiel is the form, which both danger and promises are told.
The book is written in strange visions, brave stories, and weird actions. These standards of God’s surprise occur here a lot more than in any other prophetic books and are presented with an even strange explanation of descriptive detail. The visions are weird and are very difficult to understand. The reader will not forget the meaning of the Book of Ezekiel, if he remembers that God has great powers that are sometimes shown in language and writings. Ezekiel sees in his visions, he describes in stories, and acts out; it is designed to give a promise that God is carrying forward his plan for all men that he started in his covenant with Israel years ago. Cleaned by God’s judgment in the Babylonian Exile, Israel will again become the holder of the promises of the New Covenant and to the end of time. All of this Ezekiel sees in visions, which he views the future and covers up the same picture of the Kingdom of God.
The Book of Ezekiel is one of the greatest prophetic books of the Bible, it tells a great story of what the future holds for mankind and the world. A lot of Ezekiel’s prophecies are retold in the Book of Revelation. Ezekiel was called to foretell Gods faithfulness in the middle of trials, and the fulfillment of his promises. During the first part of his career, he foretold the complete destruction of the kingdom of Judah, and the destruction of the city and temple.
After the fulfillment of these prophecies, he was commanded to announce the return from exile, the re-establishment of the people in their own country and, the success of the Kingdom of the Messiah, the second David, so that the people would not abandon themselves to unhappiness and die as a nation through contact with the Gentiles, whose gods had beaten the God of Israel. This is the main problem of Ezekiel’s prophecy, which is divided into three parts. After the introduction, the vision of the calling of the prophet, the first part holds the prophecies against Judah before the fall of Jerusalem.
In this part the prophet tells of hope of saving the city, the kingdom, and the temple, and announces the approaching judgment of God upon Judah. When the death of his wife, God forbids him to mourn openly, in order to teach the exiles that they should be willing to lose the dearest to them without grieving over it. –In the second part (xxv-xxxii), are gathered together the prophecies concerning the Gentiles. He takes, first of all, the neighbouring peoples who had been exalted through the downfall of Juda, and who had humiliated Israel. The fate of four of these, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Edomites, and the Philistines, is condensed in chapter xxv.
He treats more at length of Tyre and its king (xxxvi-xxviii,19), after which he casts a glance at Sidon (xxviii,20-26). Six prophecies against Egypt follow, dating from different years (xxix-xxxii. The third part (xxxiii-xlviii), is occupied with the Divine utterances on the subject of Israel’s restoration. As introduction, we have a dissertation from the prophet, in his capacity of authorized champion of the mercy and justice of God, after which he addresses himself to those remaining in Juda, and to the perverse exiles (xxxiii). The manner in which God will restore His people is only indicated in a general way.
The Lord will cause the evil shepherds to perish; He will gather in, guide, and feed the sheep by means of the second David, the Messiah (xxxiv). Though Mount Seir shall remain a waste, Israel shall return unto its own. There God will purify His people, animate the nation with a new spirit, and re-establish it in its former splendour for the glory of His name (xxxv-xxxvii). Israel, though dead, shall rise again, and the dry bones shall be covered with flesh and endowed with life before the eyes of the prophet. Ephraim and Juda shall, under the second David, be united into one kingdom, and the Lord shall dwell in their midst (xxxvii).
The invincibleness and indestructibility of the restored kingdom are then symbolically presented in the war upon Gog, his inglorious defeat, and the annihilation of his armies (xxxviii-xxxix). In the last prophetic vision, God shows the new temple (xl-xliii), the new worship (xliii-xlvi), the return to their own land, and the new division thereof among the twelve tribes (xlvii-xlviii), as a figure of His foundation of a kingdom where He shall dwell among His people, and where He shall be served in His tabernacle according to strict rules, by priests of His choice, and by the prince of the house of David. Ezekiel means God will strengthen. He is one of the major prophets of the Bible.
He was the son of Buzi the priest, Ezekiel lived during the Babylonian Exile, among the Jews who settled at Tel-Abib in Babylon. He was taken away as a prisoner with Jehoiachin, which happened about 597 BC. Ezekil lived in his own house near the Chabar River, where he had a top position over the exiles.